The court was hearing an appeal filed by the Kerala government, which was appealing the high court’s decision in March last year to allow a female employee in the state’s police department a reservation in promotion rewards.
In a significant decision, The Supreme Court declared on Monday that a person with a disability cannot be denied reservation in government promotions even if they were not hired under the disability quota, upholding a Kerala high court judgement that granted the advantage to a woman last year.
The state stated that the beneficiary, Leesamma Joseph, had entered the state services as a typist in 1996 through a compassionate appointment after her brother died while serving. Joseph had Post-Polio Residual Paralysis (L) Lower Limb at the time of her enlistment, and her permanent impairment was estimated to be 55%.
“Source of recruitment ought not to make any difference but what is material is that the employee is a PwD at the time for consideration for promotion. The 1995 Act does not make a distinction between a person who may have entered service on account of disability and a person who may have acquired a disability after having entered the service.”
In their decision, the panel of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R. Subhash Reddy stated that those with physical disabilities are entitled to reservations in promotions as well.
The Supreme Court’s final and most important decision was whether an individual might be given the PwD advantage for promotion while not being appointed in the PwD quota. The Court determined that the source of recruiting should not matter as long as the employee is disabled at the time of promotion consideration.
“It would be discriminatory and violative of the mandate of the Constitution of India if the respondent is not considered for promotion in the PwD quota on this pretext. Once the respondent has been appointed, she is to be identically placed as others in the PwD cadre,” the Court ruled.